Save the Last Dance (2001) Script

Ticket, please.

Ticket, please.

Ticket, miss.

Have a good trip.

Excuse me. Is this seat taken?

No.

I love ballet.

Now, I never had the body for it.

Hey, you dance?

I used to.

I've got something for you.

It's for love, not luck.

Because you don't need luck, you dance like an angel.

Mom.

You're the best luck I'll ever have.

Are you okay?

I kept messing up these pirouettes.

It's really frustrating, but it'll be okay.

My mom's going to be there. She's going to drive me.

You've nothing to worry about, you're going to do absolutely fine.

You're the best dancer in Lemont.

Lindsay, this is not Lemont. This is Juilliard, New York City.

Do you want to pray? What?

You're leaving for St. Louis. I'm not gonna see you. We should pray.

Lindsay... Father, S.J. auditions today, let herdo okay.

We've got the Carson wedding, the Dankowski party, two funerals and Jill calls in sick today, of all days.

Sara, I'm sorry. I have to handle this, there isn't anybody else.

Mom, what about... Glynn? Do they want roses in this?

It doesn't say what color mums. Judy took that order, ask her.

Mom? This is the hardest, most important day of my life.

You have to be there. You promised.

I know.

Excuse me, are you Sara Johnson? Yes.

You're next.


I'll be there, I promise, before you audition.

Is there anything you would like to share with us... about your contemporary piece before you begin?

No, it's pretty self-explanatory.


Did you have a good ride?

I slept through most of it.

I guess you got stuff.

Baggage?

Three suitcases. One big one.

Sorry I had to split so soon after the funeral.

If I could have gotten out of that gig in South Bend, I would have hung around a lot longer.

Guess it was pretty tough leaving all your friends.


Here we are.

Put 'em anywhere.

Give you the grand tour.

It's not much of what you're used to, but the water's hot and the mice are friendly.

Bathroom.

Kitchen, big kitchen.

This is where I sleep.

Didn't get a chance to make the bed today.

Where do I sleep?

Nixon was probably in offiice... when they rolled this off the assembly line, but, there's a brand-new mattress in there.

Most of your clothes should fit in here.

Whatever's left over can put in the hall closet.

I know it's a little bit out in the open, but...

I didn't get a chance to fiinish your room here.

Yeah, I'll fiix that.

It's a work in progress.

I'll have it up and running in no time.

A few minor adjustments.

Well, I guess I'll let you get unpacked.


You don't have to come in with me... since I'm allset. I'm your father, I'm supposed to.

You don't know where to go, who to see.

It's okay. I mean, I have done this before, gone to school.

All right, well, this is the name they gave me.

"Mrs. Gwynn. Main offiice."

I'llbe back to pick you up at 3..30.

Okay, sure. Whatever.

Hey, look at the white girl. Wass up, baby?


My door is always open. And contrary to hall rumor, you can talk to me.

Do you have any questions or concerns?

No questions, no answers.

All right. This is Mr. Campbell's class, and he's expecting you.

Truman Capote. In Cold Blood... represents a complete turning point in American history... and American literature... You want to tell us why, Mr. Ricard?

Gay rights.

The Com-pote dude who wrote it... Capote.

Capote? Capote.

Sweet tooth. Straight-up fag, Mr. C. I'm serious.

Flaming.

Thank you very much. We can now promote you up to kindergarten.

Anybody else? Once, twice.

Miss Johnson, I apologize if any of this is over your head, but if you see me after class, I'll give you some chapters.

Anybody? Come on.

It's a non-fiction novel. Capote mixed true events... with things that he couldn't know so he made them up.

He created a new genre.

White folks back then felt safe. Capote scared them.

He took hard-core crime out of the ghetto... and placed it in America's backyard, that's what makes the book special.

Yeah, that's part of it. That's all of it.

We got a debate going on now. Capote wasn't the fiirst.

Richard Wright, James Baldwin did the same thing.

Wasn't nobody trying to read them, though.

A lot of people read them.

A lot of people like who?

You?

Didn't think so. Mr. C? Mr. C?

Yeah? Your girl needs to bone up.

I think you need to give her a pass to the library.

We need to get a parent-teacher's conference, something going on.

Why don't you lend her yours?

'Cause obviously, you don't ever use it.

Yo, Latrice, Mr.Jackson's civics class?

You will have a pop quiz. It's mad hard, aight?

Aight.

That's how easy it is to give to charity around here.

Thanks.

Don't put your shit on the floor.

I'm...


So, here I am trying to study, right?

And he's crying and crying, I can't get anything done...

Yo, where were you in math class? Man...

It was so hard. I left it blank, the whole thing.

For real. And if you had been there, I'd of had my notes from yesterday.

I know you're new to the table, but just look at this, we are the 2K generation... and no one takes us seriously.

We don't even take ourselves seriously. And just look around, half the student body is DOA, and that's from the neck up, Clara.

Sara. It's Sara.

Yeah, it's Sara. You finished?

Yes.

Thank you so much. No problem.

You need to watch where you sit, girl.

Don't ever let me catch you at that table again. And it's Chenille.

Put your tray down here, and let me introduce you... to some oft he ladies that I roll with.

Come on.

Hold up, hold up, hold up. Girls, this is Sara.

Sara, this is Portia and Tanisha.

And this is Diggy.

She thinks she's down. Excuse me? I am down, okay.

Yeah, whatever. You said you knew how to play.

Girl, that earring is fresh as hell, did it hurt?

Stick a pin through your eye brow, see if it hurts. Ass hole.

Who? 'Cause in this crowd you're going to have to be more specifiic.

The guy sitting by the window with the blue sweater.

He's in my English class. He think she's so smart and so cute.

Derek Reynolds? So you know him?

Hell, yeah, I know him. He's my brother.

Well, he's not an asshole, per se...

Forget about it, girl. It's all right.

Don't even sweat it.

Yo, Derek. Hey, yo. Hey, man.

Medicine man.

What's up, Kai? Man, baby, I was just asking about you, and I got a little emotional too about you being back and all.

Man, sit your punk ass down, fool. Matter offact, step your ass off.

Give us some space.

Man, why we... Everybody's got a piece in the hook.

You look good, man. Who you stealing from? Nice jacket.

What's up, man? How'd it go with Mrs. Gwynn?

Bullshit. "You're a smart boy, you can learn from your mistakes."

"I'm here for you." Yeah, she's there for me, all right.

But you're hangin' in, though. You feeling strong?

Strong about what? First week back at home sweet high school?

You enlisted in this shit. I'm drafted.

Judge said finish school or finish your sentence.

Like they both ain't 12 months of a long-ass time.

But a year here is better than another one served up at juvee.

At least we got chicks in here. Yeah, man.

I'll check you later, man. All right, man.

See this honey.

Hey, Sara. Come in here a minute, will you?

You've been working a while in there. You must be getting hungry.

What do you say? Look... "Swanson Hungry Man Dinners."

They're the best. Look, got everystyle.

Animal, vegetable, or mineral?

I had a big lunch.

All right, well... they're in here if you change your mind.

Unless your plan is to starve yourself to death.

It's not a plan. I just don't eat when I'm not hungry.

Mom never let me eat that stuff. Okay.

Hey...

Listen...

I got a gig downtown tonight. What do you say?

You haven't heard me play for awhile.

What do you say? You want to come with me, and hang out, and maybe we'll get a bite to eat afterwards?

It's a school night, Roy. Yeah.

It's a school night, yeah.

I forgot.

All right, then. Well, I'll just go.

And, you can eat or not eat.

And I'll be back when I'm back.


Stepps is gonna be off the hinges Friday night.

I'm a bust a new move, break in the new Jordans... and bring a little honey.

Why, your hand busy?

If it wasn't for that attitude, you could be the lucky girl.

I can see us right now, baby. Yeah, in your dreams.

Help me, dog. Defend me, man!

I got my own problems, Snook.

Problems? What problems? We ain't got no damn problems.

You going to college, doctor college after that. You the man, dog.

He tripping off his acceptance letter from Georgetown.

No, I'm waiting for my letter. I've been waiting.

I could have been a doctor too, you know what I'm saying?

If it wasn't for that time I got left back.

"That time"? What, fifth and sixth grade don't count?

Why do you always try to make me feel bad? I liked the fifth grade.

Hey, girl! Miss Barnett had this ass so big...

This is my brother, Derek.

My bad, y'all have already met.

Yeah, we're acquainted. Hi.

Hi. Hell, no!

You're not going to introduce me? Forget my name, your manners?

You don't need to know him.

Excuse me, you do need to know me. Everybody needs to know me.

They call me Snook-G, from the CG. And don't you forget it.

They call him Snookie, because "fool" was taken.

They call me Snook, the cootchie crook.

Chi-town, where ya at, girl? What's your fiirst class?

Okay, let's see that upper body.

Both legs, nice.

Let's... The upper body. I can't. I know.

I don't have an upper body. We go through this every day.

You need to work your upper body. Go do some chin-ups.

Stacia, you're next. Kathy, spot her. Good. Point your toes.

That's it.

All right, Sara. You're up.

Ihate this class!

Look at my hand! Girl, you are bleeding.

I hate her. She made me climb up to the very... well, not the very top.

Obviously.

Damn.

Ex-cuuse me!

Last time you said you would and you didn't.

Wait. Hold on, hold on.

Sara.

Hi. Hi.

How you get your leg to twist like that?

What's up with that double-jointed, cheerleader shit anyway?

Nothing's up with it. I just used to dance. Ballet, mostly.

So you should hit Stepps with us tomorrow night.

It's a club. You know, like mostly hip-hop.

It's sort of members only, you know what I'm saying?

I don't know.

You should go. Yeah, Snook spins sometimes, so he might be able to get you in. Who?

Snook, she needs to get hooked up with Stepps, all the way hooked up.

All right. Give him a twenty. For what?

L.D.

She thought she was getting in off your looks.

Ha! No, no.

Your girl is weak, all right? I got my rep to watch.

I can't be getting any old toe-tapping, ass-shaking band stand...

Snookie, you talk a lot of shit for someone who never says anything.

You gonna pay the man, or what?

I don't know where it is. I'll give you my address.

We'll meet up, and we'll go together.

And I will have your l.D.

Stepps ain't no square dance.

That's all right. I dance in circles, probably around you.

This girl's a joke, man. What? Break out.

Don't you got something to do? Money to spend? Allright.

Let's roll, girl.


Hey, girl. Come in.

So you found the place okay? Yeah, it was fiine.

All right, I'm just gonna get my coat and then we'll be out.

Cool outfit.

Slammin'. Slammin' outfiit.

Momma Dean? I'm leaving.

L-I look okay, right?

Yeah.

You look all right.

Momma Dean, Sara. Sara, Mom, aka Momma Dean.

Hi, sweetheart. How are you?

And handsome here is Christopher.

Now don't get him all riled up, Chenille.

I'm gonna get me some sleep tonight.

Glad to have met you. Bye.

I'll be home at 1:00 at the latest.

Is that... Is he yours?

He sure ain't Momma Dean's.

Here is your l.D. Thank you.

Chenille! She's ugly! She's fat.

She's 21 . Come on, girl, let's roll. I ain't got all night.

Wait, wait, I just have to ask you a question. Do I really look okay?

Yo, Lakisha, let me use your car.

I just want to sit in it for a minute.

All right? All right.

Come on. What? I-l thought...

Get in. Let's go, let's go. Okay.

All right, you need to take off that fiifth-grade, dance-looking top.

It's from the Gap. It's country, and you look country in it.

Let's go.

You're going to put these on too.

What the hell am I going to do with this?

Come here, come here, come here.

Thanks, girl. No problem.

Let's bounce.

Yo, you got a pocket for this cash? Yeah.

Let's get to our table before it gets crashed and I hurt somebody.

What are you, some kind ofV.l.P.?

No, Snook hooks me up when he spins.

Damn!

Hey, hey. You got it. Got it. Got what?

What? The right to walk past your greasy, tickle-dick self... without your paws on my ass? Yeah. You got it.

That's how I got it?

That's how I thought I had it. Come on, girl.


Hey, what's up? We're in here.

Shawna! Sara, Shawna. Shawna, Sara.

Hi, love. So, this place is tight, right?

It's so cool. What is up with this place?

Seems like they're letting anybody in.

And they started with you.

I'm Nikki. Alyssa, Jasmin.

You know Diggy, right, Marcia?

Sara. It's Sara, actually.

I know you, though. You're in my gym class, right?

That don't mean you know me. Quit it, Nikki.

Quit what? I ain't walking on eggshells... just 'cause you brought the Brady Bunch to the Negro club.

Maybe you came to the wrong spot, 'cause I'm pretty sure there aren't any Negroes here.

Doh!

I'm pretty sure you came with one.

No, wench. You did not just call me a Negro!

Y'all just chill, okay. Why don't you tell her to chill?

She the one that's always got something to say.

I could say a lot more. You keep talking, Nikki, I will lay all your shit bare.

Dang. Why you gotta burn her like that, Chenille?

'Cause I can't stand her ass and the way she played my brother.

Hey.

Hi, what's up, D.! Hey, man.

Let's dance. Let's not.

It's gonna be like that?

Well, how'd you think it was gonna be?

You was going to drop me and pick me up wheneveryou felt like it?

I miss you.

Does this have to do with that fool from Northwestern dismissing you?

Ain't nobody dissed or dismissed me, Derek. I laid him off.

Fired me? You laid him off?

All you gotta do is fiind somebody to dance with and it'll be good.

What's up? What did he say? He's trippin', come on.

Yo! Excuse me!

Wanna dance with me for a minute? Yeah.

Catch you later, all right? All right.

What you drinking?

I don't know. I'll have, um... That's him coming over.

Who? Christopher's father.

Don't look, don't look. Don't.

How you doing?

Why don't you ask how your son is doing?

That's a line you ain't tried in awhile.

Now why you got to jump off like that?

Why you gotta be like you are?

I thought you was coming to get Christopher on Sunday.

What happened? You got amnesia?

Look, I'll take him next week.

I had to work on Sunday.

I ain't seen the fruits of that labor.

Come on, Chenille.

Chenille.

I mean, you know you want to dance with me.

That's why you came here...

To yell at me and to dance with me.

Kenny, Sara. Sara, Kenny.

Hi. Hey, what's up?

Rum and coke. No ice.

Hey!


Rum and coke, straight up, and a beer... anything.

That's a bad choice, "anything."

It's just a beer.

Well, it should be the best beer.

But you'd know that if you even drank.

Whatever.

What's that mean? "Whatever"?

Whatever you want it to mean. You're the genius, right?

You know everything. Not everything.

Like I don't know why we're still standing here.

I'm supposed to be dizzy by now, remember?

From all those circles you danced around me.

I don't feel like dancing right now.

But you know how? Would I be here, if I didn't?

Let's do it then. Come on.

Come on.


Cross, front. Cross, front.

That's it. That's it. You got it.

Cross, front. Cross, front...

Shit! Sorry. Sorry.

Sorry, I'm sorry. Sorry.

Damn, Nikki. She all up in your nut.

Up in your nut and cracking it.

What she doing? Two-stepping?

I don't care what she's doing. That bitch ain't got shit on me.


He's right there.


Don't be dealing in here.

What the hell is wrong with you?


I tell you, don't sell in here! Malakai, you hear me, man.

Y'all think it's a game, man?

Kai!

Get up! Get up! All right, it's over. Chill.

Get off! I'm all right.

Move, move. Keep going.

Go, go, go, go, go.

I gotta fiind my brother. Derek! Derek!

It's about to get real out here, y'all. Cops and shit, I'm gone.

All right, girl. Derek!

Derek! Yo, what the...

Go. Come on, man, get in. Let'sgo.

Are you crazy? What's wrong with you, Derek?

Look, I'm going to tell you like I've been telling you, you need to leave Malakai alone and let that scrub handle his own mess.

Chenille, scramble the CD. I ain't trying to hear all that shit.

You guys, I live like fiive blocks that way. I'm just going to go home.

I'll see you later. No, not alone in this neighborhood.

There's too many little boys out here thinking they thugs.

I'll walk you. No, don't worry about me.

It's no problem. No, I said I'll walkyou.

Well, what about you? We live right around the corner.

Well, I'll be home in a minute. All right.

So you was working it tonight, girl.

Yeah, right, slammin'. Later.

Bye.

Come on, Braveheart.

Maybe you want to hook up sometime?

You know, after school? Work on your moves, if you want.

Yeah, sure, if you want.

So how'd you like Stepps, once you got used to the music?

It wasn't the music that I had to get used to, Derek.

That's not the fiirst time I've heard hip-hop.

I bet you listen to it all the time.

So are we getting any closer to your crib, or are we going to have to stop for food and water?

We... We passed it. You passed it.

Thank you for walking me home. Was that thanks like, "Gee whiz, I had a great time," or was that thanks like, "I'll bust a cap in your ass, if you ever darken my doorstep again"?

No, I would never bust a cap in your ass.

Just checking.

So, you're here. You're home.

I'll see ya.

See ya at school.

Okay.

See ya.

Thank you for the dance.


Morning. You scared me.

I didn't know that you were home. I didn't see your car outside.

Yeah, the night's full of surprises.

I had a big one myself when I came home on my break.

Where were you, Sara? I was just out with some friends.

And I just missed some work. Half a night's worth. Hope you had fun.

I did. I had a great time.

Yeah, look, you're 17 years old, if you wanna go out, go out.

But don't sneak around.

And on top of everything else, don't make me worry about you.

Now you're worried about me?

Now that I'm old enough to take care of myself? Perfect timing, Roy.

You know, the rules about going out are very simple, Sara.

I wanna know where and when. And I want you home at a decent hour.

End of discussion. Fine, end of discussion. Relax.

All right, lesson one. See, hip-hop is more than just like a dance, it's more like... Like an attitude, you know.

You gotta loosen up so you can feel them and let them flow through you.

Now, what is this? Bring your feet out like this.

Put your feet forward. Right, spread 'em, spread 'em.

You all right, then? Yes.

Just hang loose. Be strong, a tree, right?

Left, right, left, right, left, right, left, right.

Make that sound with me.

What, are you sitting down for tea or something?

Get up.

Boom. That's it. Just chillin'.

You just do it. Sit down.

Okay.

Now we're just going to walk. It's real simple. Just walk like this.

Okay, now you try, you try. Okay.

Now just relax, let it be natural.

Five, six, seven, eight.

Dig into it more, the balls of your feet instead of your toes.

Bend your knees, bend your knees. Just slouch a little bit, slouch.

Act like you're a nasty bitch.

All right, now watch. Check it, check it, check it.

Got that? It's come to headbobs?

Okay, it's the same beat, but then you split it up.

Freeze, freeze, freeze.

Bounce, bounce. I am such a dork.

No, you're not. Bounce.

Now I'm cool. You're almost there.

Yeah, you got that.

Areyousure it's okay that we came here?

Well, it is now, but ifwe're going to keep on doing this, we're gonna have to fiind someplace else to practice.

Did you always want to be a doctor?

Who said I wanna be a doctor?

Chenille. Everybody.

Well, yeah, you know. I wanna be a doctor, but I gotta get into college fiirst.

What kind of doctor?

Pediatrician. I like kids.

Do you have any? No. Do you?

I didn't... I wasn't trying to be smart, Derek.

Wouldn't be the fiirst time.

Screw you, I'm brilliant and cool.

Yeah. Yeah.


That was cute, that little thing you did. Can you show me again?

What was that shit you just did? Rond dejambe attitude.

Ballet. I used to dance. You used to dance?

Used to, as in don't anymore and no, I don't want to talk about it.

So, is that why you brought up that rond dejambe attitude shit... because you don't want to talk about it?

It's really not a big deal.

I think it is.

This club was so slamming, Lindsay, the dancing. I'm gonna go again.

You are? Well, have you seen anybody get shot yet?

What? No, I didn't see anyone get shot yet.

God, I didn't move to Bosnia.

Well, I'm still going to pray for you.

Jesus, Sara, you're in the freaking ghetto. Forget about the drive-bys, how are you supposed to meet anybody?

Um, well, I did actually meet somebody, I think.

I met this guy, and he's really cool.

They got white guys at your school? Um... no, actually they don't.

Shut up! Look at me. I want my money.

I don't have it.

Shut up! Quit your crying, man.

I don't get paid till next week.

You wasn't saying that when you was smoking it.

I don't have it! Well, you better find it somewhere.

This ain't no lay a way plan. Hey! Hey, stop it!

Come here. Where do you think you're going, Aahh! Bitch!

You ain't seen nothing, so don't say nothing... to nobody.

I stole a bike here once.

Why'd you do that? 'Cause I didn't have one.

Okay. Good reason. Well, it's not a reason, you know, I used to do shit like that, you know... wild shit.

With Malakai? Yeah.

I don't get you two. You seem so different.

We're not. I think you are.

I mean, come on, Malakai's scary. Very scary.

What you mean by scary? Kai's tough, he has to be.

But he's still got a good heart. I know.

Maybe you only think you know.

Look, Malakai may not be the boy next door, but he's still my boy.

He does some shit that I'm not down with sometimes, but I ain't never going to cross him offand be like everybody else.

So, you're not down with the stuff he does, but you are down with him?

That makes sense. I understand. He's my friend, Sara.

You don't have to understand.

You don't have to understand.

Listen, me and him got into some shit awhile back... some bad shit.

Broke into a liquor store and cracked open the cash register.

Somebody peeped us and called five-0, and we barely made it out of the store.

The cops were on our asses. We split up and ran in different directions.

Now, I must have been going in the wrong direction, because the cops were closing in on me.

So, Malakai, he smashed in some car windows, set off the alarms... and turned the heat from me to him.

I kept running, and he got caught.

The DA offered him everything but a Rolls Royce to turn my name in.

But he didn't, and he never will.

I stole a hat once, when I was 12.

But my Mom found it and made me give it back.

Gangsta Sara stole a hat. Call the F.B.l.

Are you gonna turn me in?

I think I'll wait for you to surrender.

So, you get along with your mom?

You know, you all tight and shit?

Yeah. We got along, tight and shit.

How come you never talk about her? 'Cause there's nothing to say.

It's because you don't talk about her.

What do you want me to do?

I don't know, just say something about her.

I mean, you don't say anything about her.

Well, she's dead. God, what do you want me to do, run through the streets screaming? If it helps.

Well, it won't, so drop it.

Didn 't mean to press you about your mom.

It's all right. Don't worry about it.

Get along with your dad? Y'all tight and shit?

Yeah, we're both tight and shit. Our DNA matches.

What is this place? Well, in a few months, it'll be Club Med for the homeless, but right now... just an old furniture spot I used to work at last summer.

Hop, step, back. Okay? Real simple, do it with me, right?

Try it one more time. Add on the next part after that, all right?

Six, seven, eight.

Step, back, break, spin, out, up, step.

Chilly on that? One more time.

Okay, on this part? It's like we're battling, right?

It's like a challenge. When I step forward like this, you have to challenge me back into my space, and I challenge you back in your space, like this.

So, it's back, front, back, front, back, front, like that, that kinda feel.

Step, back, forth, back.

Wait, wait. You're making me dizzy. Stop, stop.

Sit on it, sit on it. Stick your ass out.

Do it.

Okay, okay. How am I doing? How's my butt?

It's nice. I mean, it's good.

Thank you.

You made that? It's really nice.

It's Tanisha's.

That girl's gonna pay my way through design school.

What about your mom?

Where is she?

She was in jail... for drugs.

For things women do for drugs.

She got out and took off.

Well, maybe she'll come back.

That is what Derek used to say when we were little, when Momma Dean used to piss us off.

But he grew up. He grew out of it.

You like Derek, don't you?

No. No.

Wooo! Yeah! I got it!

Yo! What's the deal? What's going on in there?

Wh-What's going on?

Dr. Reynolds in the house. You know what I'm saying?

What? What? Check it out. Check it out.

Georgetown! It's Georgetown!

Congratulations. Thank you.

Really exciting. Thank you.

Whoo! Gimme some love. Give it up.

Are you going to tell me where we're going?

No. Why is this a surprise for me?

You're the one with something to celebrate.

We can celebrate together. Okay.

We have an audience.

Work with me.


My God.

That lady was freaking out.

I know it. She was really losing it.

I'm so excited for you. Thank you.

Are you nervous about Georgetown? No.

Yeah. Yes.

I'm sorry. I-l can't go in there.

What do you mean? This is where I'm taking you, the ballet.

I know, but...

But what?

Nothing.

Nothing. Never mind. Come on.


I thought you would like it.

I did. You ain't acting like it.

I'm sorry.

I don't want you to think that I didn't have a good time. I did.

It's just... ballet is not a part of my life anymore.

I don't understand. What happened?

You just woke up one morning and decided to waste your talent?

How do you know I have talent? 'Cause you saw me do some leg trick?

I saw the look on your face when you did it.

The same as I saw tonight...

Goofy, happy.

So, if you're gonna tell me something about not dancing, at least tell me something real.

Well, what if I don't want it to be real?

What I want is to wake up and see my mom again; for things to go back to the way when my life made sense.

But that's not gonna happen, and it's all my fault.

All of it. What's your fault?

My mom, the accident, the fact that she's dead.

She got scraped off some highway because of me... because of my stupid audition.

Because she was rushing because I made her promise to come.

And when they called my name, I was mad at her because...

Because I needed her to be there and she wasn't.

She was dying while I was dancing, and I was mad at her.

And I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

I'm so sorry. Listen.

It is not your fault that she died... or that she was rushing.

She cared about you. She just wanted to be there for you.

That's what makes it so bad. She always wanted what was right for me.

I wanted to be the prima ballerina. I had to be.

And I didn't care if it took all of her money and all of her spare time.

It was my stupid audition and my stupid dream, and it killed her.

And all she wanted was for it to come true.

I bet she would still want it to come true.

She wouldn't want you to give that up.

I know. I just... I don't think that I can do it without her.

What do you want?

Do you wanna do it, Sara?

I mean you.

Do you want Juilliard?

Yes. All right.

Then, it's on you.

You're the one that's gonna have to make it happen.

You're the one that's gonna have to make the dream come true.


So, I'll see you tomorrow?

Yeah.

I promise not to have a nervous breakdown.


Good night.

Good night.


I called Juilliard for an application.

They're holding auditions in Chicago next month.

Next month. That's cool.

I'm out of shape, and it hurts.

If that's what you call out of shape, what does it take to get you in shape?

Practice. Okay, jog around the room, then.

Do some push-ups. I'll sit here, and I'm gonna watch.

That's not how I get into shape.

That's it. Now shoulders down.

Andbring the hip down asyougo.

And stretch through the toes.

Don't wait.

And fiinish.

Good.

You know, I'm okay with the ballet part, but I need help with my free form.


Girl, who is Snookie talking to?

I don't know. Anything with legs.

I think someone got spilled on. Hey, back off.

Ain't nobody watchin' you but me.

Yeah, right, nobody's watching.

Come on. Gotta get ready for Juilliard.


Go Derek! Go Derek! Go Derek!

Go, go, go, girl!

Watch me squash this shit.


You never look as good as she does with him.

That's oil. You're milk.

Ain't no point trying to mix.


Hey, what's up?

Look, we were just dancing.

And what, her ass just happened to fall into your hands?

No, it was... You were dancing with Snookie, I was dancing with Nikki.

The music was going and...

I thought we were having a good time.

Look. There's nothing between me and Nikki anymore.

I didn't mean to hurt you.

Sara, I would never do anything to hurt you.

I'm sorry.

I really am sorry.

You wanna go? Yeah.

Come on. Let's go.

This is it. This is where I live.

This is my dad's music room.

He plays the trumpet. No shit.

He's actually pretty good if you like jazz.

No.

He's got some nice stereo equipment. It's off the hook.

And this is our living room.

It's not anything special. It's all right.

My dad's gonna fiix that. It's kind of messy in there.

Do you wanna see my room? Yeah.

This is it. I sleep on the couch.

There's a bed underneath, but it gets stuck, and my dad says he's gonna fiix it, but I don't know.

He's, um, at work right now.

He'll... be gone all night.

Yeah, um...


I'd sleep in a dresser too if I had six brothers to sleep with.

Hey, fellas, what's up?

Look at this stud. What's up, man?

Hey, playah. How you doin', man?

Whass up, baby?

No love. No love.

I hear you been traveling in new circles. What's up with that?

You tappin' that white girl?

That's why you ain't got more time for your boys? Too busy fronting?

Too busy snow flaking. if that's the case, you best be watching your back.

'Cause white women don't bring nothin' but trouble.

That ain't white women, man. That's women.

That's your women. Yo, are we gonna check out... some honeys on the westside?

You riding? Hell, no.

This ain't about no honeys. I know what it's about.

Those fools we stomped at Stepps hit my corner four strong last week.

I gotta handle myself. You slide out that side oftown, they gonna handle you. They can bring it. I got my heat.

All that gat's gonna do is create some unnecessary mayhem, man.

That's the black man's life...

Madness and mayhem. How do you know?

You just got out of juvee, and now you're talking about... going out there trying to start some more shit?

That shit ain't funny.

You act like you don't know who you are anymore, Derek.

And what's up out there for anybody who ain't you?

I'm still from this neighborhood, but you?

I guess that's what happens when a white girl goes to your head.

Or gives you some. Shut up, Lip.

Sorry.

I know what's out there. Ain't like you can't get past it, but you're too busy getting in your own way to see that.

I had some help getting in my own way, didn't I?

Hey, wassup?

What the hell was that?

I was trying to block the ball.


Stupid bitch!

Good going, Sara!

Get off! That's it! Nikki, back off!

Yeah! Yeah!

Yeah, yeah! I like that!


What is this shit?

Malakai? Are you all right? Yeah, yeah, man.

Anybody catch one?

It ain't over, bitch.

I don't even know why it started, bitch.

'Cause you always in my way.

I'm only in your way when it comes to Derek. That's what this is about.

No, it's about you. White girls like you.

Creepin' up, takin' our men.

The whole world ain't enough, you got to conquer ours too.

Whatever, Nikki. Derek and I like each other, and if you have a problem with that, screw you.

I'll get it.

Yeah, I'm coming.

Hi. Shit!

I'm okay. Wait. Let me see.

I'm really okay. I'm fiine.

Well, what did she do?

Um, now is really not a good time to talk.

Okay. Well... I'll call you.

No.

Here, let me see.

Here. God, that stinks.

Yeah, but it's gonna keep your face from swelling up like a pumpkin.

Hold it. Here. Hold it on there.

So, whatcha gonna do?

It's payback time. Either you down or you not.

Either you my boy or you ain't. Simple as that.

Ha! Hey, baby, we lit it up out there.

I am serious. Did you see us, "D" man?

Do you see us? We're talking.

Anyway. Hey, baby, we lit it up.

Man, come on, man! That shit ain't funny, man.

You damn right it ain't funny. I thought you liked it down there.

That's your specialty, ain't it? Crawling on the floor like a bitch.

That was a reflex action in the heat of the moment.

You're just plain rude and wrong to bring that shit up in mixed company.

I'm gonna go home. Are you ready? No, he's not ready.

He's talking to me. It's an "A" and "B" conversation.

You gotta go? See yourself home. Fuck you!

Bitch, I'm gonna... What the hell is your problem?

You gonna take that bitch's back and won't even cover mine?

'Cause you wrong, Malakai. No, you're wrong.

You been wrong. You ain't even worth shit no more.

Get outta my face, college boy, and take that trailer trash ho with you.


Honey, his blue pajamas are at the bottom of the bag.

If it's as cold as it was today, put those on him.

Hey, whatcha all doing with my nephew here? Come on now.

There we go. It's okay. It's okay.

What's wrong with him? He don't know you, Kenny.

I'm his father, he knows me. What should I do?

Come around more often. See, I can't talk to you.

And I can't depend on you.

Shh.

What do you think I use to raise this baby, oxygen?

He has needs, Kenny, and his needs require money.

Here we go. And we're gonna keep going... until I get what I need from you to raise your son.

I'm doing the best that I can.

But do you think your mouth helps the situation?

I'm just trying to deal with this shit. I didn't ask forthis.

What, and I did?

I climbed on top of myself and got pregnant?

You want me to take him to my mother's?

I'll take him. Get his shit ready. Get him ready!

No. You're not going now here with my son tonight.

Not on that temper, and not with that attitude.

Look, you know what? Fine. Then, I won't take him. I'm outta here.

Go ahead, leave. That's what you're good at!

Your son ain't seen nothing but your back since he was born!

Shawana Clarke.

Shawana Clarke.

Do you want me to take him?

No.

Travis, come here. Come here, Travis.

Travis, put that down.

Excuse me. I have been here for an hour and a half.

Am I gonna be able to see a doctor anytime soon?

I've already told you, we'll get you in as soon as we can.

My appointment was an hour ago. I already got here early.

We are doing the best we can. We have a lot of people.

Is there somebody else I can talk to?

Wench. I gotta stand over her... to make sure she puts your name on the damn list.

Triflin' bitch.

Okay. Ooo-kay.

Yeah. Da da da da da da da da.

I'll get that.

Da da!

I know. I know. I know. I know.

So, your dad's trippin' about the fiight.

Yeah. Probably thinks it's Derek's fault.

No, I explained about Nikki.

So, you put it all on her. None of it's on you.

She started it. I told you what she said.

Maybe she didn't have no business getting up in your face, but she had reason to say what she said.

Wait a minute. You agree with her?

You and Derek act like it don't bother people to see you together.

Like it don't hurt people to see.

Well, we like each other.

What is the big damn deal? It's me and him, not us and other people.

Black people, Sara. Black women.

Derek's about something.

He's smart. He's motivated. He's for real.

He's not gonna make babies and not take care of them, or run the streets messing up his life.

He's gonna make something of himself. And here you come...

White, so you gotta be right... And take one of the few... decent men we have left after jail, drugs and drive-by.

That is what Nikki meant about you up in our world.

There's only one world, Chenille.

That is what they teach you. We know different.

L-I don't understand. I thought we were friends.

You wanna be a friend? Don't just be here to be here.

Open up your pretty brown eyes and look the hell around.


Excuse me.

Come on, Sara, this is for your audition.

Come on. No, no, no. You're not attacking it.

You're not working it, okay? Come on now.

I'll get it right the next time.

You don't have time. You gotta get it right now.

I can't work like this. Like what?

Like this, with you dictating to me.

Allright. Let's take a break.

I'm sorry. It's just that the audition's next week, and everything is so messed up at school.

I don't know. I'm feeling a little bit weird.

You know everything's going to be okay.

I feel it.

So, you pick out a dress yet?

Dress?

Yeah, you know, girls wear those sometimes.

Stepps. Main Squeeze Night.

Couples only Saturday night.

We already talked about this, remember?

Yeah.

We talked about it, but I didn't know we decided on it.

Well, it's Stepps. What is there to decide on it?

I don't know. I just thought that with the fiight and everything... that maybe we should cool it for a little while.

What?

Well, what are you saying?

Are you saying that you don't wanna be with me?

You don't wanna be seen with me? What are you saying?

I'm just saying I'm confused, that's all.

Confused about what? Me?

A little bit.

I don't know. Yeah... no... maybe.

Maybe?

So, hold on. What? Are we talking about Stepps and school, or are you talking about the grocery store, the sidewalk and museums?

Break it down a little bit better for me, 'cause I don't get it.

When is it okay for us to be together? To be seen together?

Why are you getting mad? I'm just being honest.

Nobody wants to see us together.

We spend more time defending our relationship than having one.

It's just... so hard.

Everything's gotta be easy? That's the story of your life, not mine.

You know this much about my life.

I know when shit gets rough, you give up and punk out.

Just the way you punked out on ballet when your mom died.

You don't know shit about my mother. How dare you talk about my mom!

God!

I'm sorry.

I shouldn't have said that.

It's just that... all this shitjust kind of caught me off guard.

I mean, it's, like, damn, you don't wanna be with me.

Is that what you're saying, that you don't want to be with me?

No, it's not like that.

I'm trying to tell you how I feel, and you're taking it personal.

Let me tell you something, Sara.

I just hit the best friend I have in the world in the face overyou.

I've been taking shit from people I've known all my life.

People I care about, that care about me so I could be with you.

Telling myselfthat we are in this together.

So, don't give me this "nothing personal." I don't wanna hear it.

Fine. if I'm messing up your life so much, then maybe we shouldn't be together.

You know what? I don't need this shit.

I don't even know why l bother.

I'm out.

The hell with it.

The hell with you.


You know, about the other night. I don't want there to be...

Don't even worry about it, man. Myjaw's not made out of glass.

Yeah, well, you know, blood's thicker than blonds, right?

So, you got my back on Saturday?

Derek... l ain't got nobody else, man.

You got Lip. Lip?

Man, that fool will get a nigger killed quick, man.

No, I need you there.

47th Street, under the El.

I'll call you, man.

Are you down?

Yeah, I'm down. All right, man.

Let me get to class, get some education like you.

All right.


I don't wanna bug you. I just came in here to say good luck.

So, tomorrow's the big day, Yeah.

You scared? Shitless.

You got a minute for your old man? I wanna show you something.

Sure.


Be careful. That wall, it's, still wet.

That'syourmother when she was 19, when I fiirst met her.

I know.

It's just a start. I mean, I know you're too old for a twin bed.

It's a nice bed, Roy.

You know, I-l didn't mean to mess up your life.

Oryour mother's.

And I don't deserve a second chance to be your father, but I'm hoping you'll give me one anyway.

You know, wayback when...

l thought l had all the time in the world to get to know you, for you to get to know me.

But... one day... wake up, you look around.

All you got to show for yourself is a... beautiful, talented, little girl.

Young woman... who hates you.

I don't hate you.

I miss her.

I miss her so much.

God, everything is so screwed up.

Derek is mad at me.

He's not gonna come tomorrow.

I want him to be there.

Ineedhim to be there.

I just want someone there who loves me.

I love you.

Hey.

Why are you so quiet?

I don't feel like talking.

Derek, there's something I oughta tell you.

I said something to Sara.

What? What did you say?

Stuff.

About how maybe Nikki had a point about black men and white women.

What? You said what?

I'm sorry. I-l don't even like Nikki.

I was trippin' off Kenny.

You can't help who you love, Derek. You're not supposed to.

When you love somebody, you love them.

Look at me.

At least you found somebody who loves you back.

I gotta go.

Where you going?

Stay out of my business, Chenille.

I know what Malakai wants you to do.

Why are you trippin' off him, Derek?

All you're trying to do is get the hell up out of here.

Ain't no shame or blame in that.

It's getting cold out here. Take that baby inside.


Hey.

Hey.

Kai, I've been trying to catch up with you.

I gotta talk to you.

Ready to roll? I gotta talk to you.

Wassup? Look, man. I ain't going with you.

What you mean you're not going?

You know what I mean. Did you come here to waste my time?

This shit is nonsense, Kai. It's dangerous nonsense.

Just back up off it, man. Come on. I'll go with you if you go home.

Go home? Get the hell away from me, you punk-ass bitch.

You're the one don't have the balls. To walk away from this shit.

I should have tookyour ass tojail along with mine, man.

But you didn't, so you do not have to get in that car.

Malakai, you are so much smarter than this shit.

I know what you can be. I know what you're capable of.

Let's just walk away.

Walk away to what? I'm not you, Derek.

I can't do nothing but what I'm doing.

I can't go to Georgetown with a 10.0 G.P.A., operating on people, doing brain surgery... or whateveryou're gonna be doing. You can, man.

If I can do it, you can do it. All I have is my respect.

Andthat's what lgotta go take care of.

You wanna bail out on me, man? That's fiine.

But you can kiss my ass with all your future bullshit.

I know who the hell I am... right now.

Kai, man, wait, man.

Let's go, man.


Sara?

Ready to go?

Um...

Yes. Yes.

Sara!

Sara Johnson?


Aah!


Miss Johnson, we meet again.

I assume you prepared a contemporary piece.

Yes, sir. They have my music.


Hold it. Hold it. Cut the music.

I'm sorry, sir. I wasn't ready.

Are you ready now?

Yes, sir, she's ready!

Young man, excuse me. This is an audition.

Who let him in here?

How did he get in here? He's not supposed to be there.

Youngman! You can do this.

I messed up. It's too late. It is not too late.

Miss Johnson. You can do it.

Sara, you were born to do it.

Thatjudge hates me. Forget him.

Ain't nobody watching you but me.

All right?

Now show me some attitude.

Miss Johnson, we don't have time for this.

Areyou ready to continue?

Miss Johnson! I'm ready.


Whoo! Yeah! That's what I'm talkin' about, baby.

Look, all due respect, if you don't let this girl in, you're crazy.

Thank you, sir. Thank you very much.

Miss Johnson, I can't say this on the record yet, but welcome toJuilliard.

Thank you. Thank you.

Yeah, hype it up. Hype it up, everybody.

Hey, I heard you got into Juilliard.

That's like the hottest school on the planet, right?

Yeah, it's pretty good.

Well, I know they got all these famous dance teachers and shit, but if you need some new moves, you know, some real flavor, you know who to call.

All right?

All right.

Congratulations! Thank you.

Hold it. Hold it. Hold it. Hold it.

Say, "Thank you, Snookie." Thank you, Snookie.

Get your ass on the floor.